BuzzMachine Â» Blog Archive Â» Buying their voices: I’ve been sitting this one out, but having actually worked in newspapers, I’m siding with Jarvis on this one. Advertorials always made me feel slightly dirty and annoyed, and this does the same thing. It has a few things wrong with it, in my eyes:
Its lame. Pure and simple. All the bloggers think its “new school,” but its about as new school as Brad Pitt going to Japan to do beer commercials. Its trying to leverage micro-celebrity status to pimp a product from a multi-national, hidden under the guise of “transparent” endorsement. What it amounts to is a payment for endorsement and attaching ones brand to a product for unidirectional gain (fiscal profit is not a gain in my eyes in terms of the development of a brand).
I hate this quote: “they were invited to join a conversation with their readers” about a Microsoft marketing initiative.
We were not “invited,” we (as readers) were given a quote in ad space and an advertorial page on FM’s site. They are trying to pass this off as conversational marketing. I say we cut the bullshit.
Conversations happen regardless of a message attached through forced placement. Conversational marketing, as it were, has been happening for a lot longer than the Internet has existed. What they should call it instead is “We feel guilty for blatant marketing so are trying to impose the notion that we want opinions on the marketing message when in actual fact we care about the money, so fuck all.”
Have the balls to just MARKET and don’t dress it up as “conversational.” I thought the goal of open communication that the web engendered was the removal of the implication of barrier between those speaking and those listening. Communication was supposed to be bidirectional. This type of marketing imposes that barrier artificially between the producer and reader, which the very blogs they are on are trying to move against.
A conversation isn’t really one when dictated by funneling toward a desired message. Its disingenuous, lame and kind of pointless and implies that the goal of these blogs is the artificial elevation of celebrity and name-attached value rather than truly value through discourse.
Its disappointing we came to this.